Seven new trustees attend board's first meeting

By David Hertz

The Board of Trustees is on campus for its first full-length session of the academic year. The meeting, which started Thursday morning and will continue through today, includes an orientation for seven new members and discussion of the fine arts project.In addition to the four who joined the board this summer (Maura Donovan, Jo Wilhelm, Jeffrey Larson and Jon Walton), the three new trustees are Anne Campbell ’82, Michael Huber ’90 and Mark Vander Ploeg ’74-a former board chair who is returning after a period of absence.

Campbell has worked as an educational consultant for struggling teens, but plans to leave her job to eventually start a business planning and leading outdoor treks.

“My years at Macalester were the best years of my life,” Campbell said. She said her strengths are in “marketing and community work” and that she is interested in the board’s work in the areas of campus life and admissions.

“If I could help Macalester in any way, I would love to give back, because it did so much for me,” Campbell said.

Huber is co-President of Quandragle Group and serves on the boards of several corporations.

Vander Ploeg is the senior managing director of Evercore Partners, an advisory and investment firm in San Francisco.

The addition of six trustees brings the size of the board to 31, barely within the limit of 33 members. It also represents an increase in size compared with boards of recent years, which have typically had between 27 and 29 members, said Tommy Bonner, vice president for advancement.

Administrators hope the additional trustees will be able to help the school raise funds for the Step Forward Campaign as it struggles financially in the recession, according to Bonner.

“Fundraising for an board member of any organization is important,” Bonner said. “A substantial number should have the capacity to give.”

About 60 percent of trustees make “significant contributions” to the Campaign, Bonner said. He couldn’t define the term numerically, but said the entire board of trustees has donated or pledged $28 million.

The college could add further trustees over the 33-member guideline to help with the effort, Bonner said, but has no plans to do so currently.

The meeting will also be the first for 12 new student representatives to the Board of Trustees, who sit on 7 of the 10 committees of the board.

Brian Stephenson, student liaison to the Board of Trustees, selected the student representatives from over 30 candidates who applied in mid-September.

Stephenson said he was pleased with the quality of students who would be serving on committees from academic affairs to campus life.

“These are not abstract decisions that we’re making, these are things that affect us on a day to day basis and affect student life, so it is student reps’ job to give insight on student life to the trustees,” Stephenson said.